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Updated Jun 24, 2013 - 5:21 pm

Bodies of 3 men found in southern Arizona desert

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The bodies of three men have been found in the southern Arizona desert and their deaths appear to be heat-related, federal authorities said Monday.

U.S. Border Patrol officials said Casa Grande Station agents discovered two bodies near Quijotoa.

The bodies and three marijuana bundles were spotted Friday by air patrols. The Tohono O'odham Police Department took custody of the scene.

Tucson Station agents reported finding the body of a man Saturday near Arivaca within 100 yards of a road.

The man's sister told agents her brother had fallen and was unresponsive before being abandoned by the group crossing the desert, according to Border Patrol officials who said the nationalities of the three men weren't immediately available.

In a separate case, Maricopa County sheriff's deputies reported Monday finding another body in the Arizona desert near Gila Bend.

Deputies said the body was discovered Sunday morning south of Interstate 8 just days after four bodies were discovered in the same area.

The latest discovery came after a sheriff's deputy approached a metal storage building near two empty water tanks and saw what appeared to be two human feet inside.

No identification was found on the body and there were no signs of trauma or foul play, deputies said.

Sheriff's detectives haven't determined yet if the latest body is connected to the other four.

The Gila Bend area has been a pathway for traffickers headed to Phoenix, which is a busy hub for moving migrants and marijuana into the United States.

A report released earlier this month showed deaths of migrants entering the country illegally along the Southwest border have remained steady at an average of 150 a year since 2002.

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